Synergy completes LNGC-FSU conversion


Synergy Group, one of the world’s leading ship managers, has successfully converted a 1992-built, 126,000 cubic meters capacity Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carrier into a Floating Storage Unit (FSU).

The FSU at Sembcorp Marine’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore.

The FSU, which has a projected lifespan of 15 years, was delivered to its owner last week. Singapore-headquartered Synergy will manage, maintain and operate the FSU on an ongoing basis. It will be deployed in Myanmar where it will be manned by a Synergy crew of 25 seafarers.

The FSU will be moored permanently and used to receive and store LNG imports for delivery on demand to an onshore regasification plant which will supply power to local consumers.

“I think this LNG carrier to FSU conversion really drives home that Synergy is not just an asset manager and ship operator,” said Captain Rajesh Unni, CEO and Founder of Synergy Group. “We are a technical thought partner for owners and can deliver integrated solutions which require cross-disciplinary skills.

“We are also now an established single-source technical solution provider of LNG-to-power services. We can take a concept and realise the entire undertaking right through to delivering energy to end consumers even during a global pandemic.”

The project was completed successfully despite workplace restrictions due to Covid-19 safe-distancing rules, the complexity of arranging travel and work permissions for specialists arriving from overseas, and the difficulty of sourcing parts and materials during lockdowns.

“A lot of our top quality owners already employ Synergy to manage their newbuilding orders in Korea, Japan and China and we are currently overseeing more than 30 newbuilding vessel projects,” said Captain Unni. “This successful conversion shows once again that we are fully equipped to take on the most complex conversions.”

Synergy administered the FSU conversion on behalf of the client on a one-stop-shop basis. This included identifying the correct LNG carrier for conversion and selecting a suitable shipyard. Synergy also managed the entire design, engineering, procurement and yard oversight process ahead of the FSU delivery and deployment.

The conversion was performed at Sembcorp Marine’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore.

“I would like to thank Sembcorp Marine and its personnel for their absolute professionalism throughout this project which was completed in the most challenging of environments,” said Captain Unni. “Together we have delivered over 150,000 man hours from May onwards without any Lost Time Incidents (LTI) notwithstanding the ongoing threat of Covid-19 infections.

“Sembcorp Marine demonstrated that it is a resilient and trusted partner able to function efficiently despite the unique conditions.

“I am also humbled by the owner’s confidence in awarding this complex and prestigious contract to Synergy. Like us, they have full confidence in the tremendous track record of our highly experienced newbuilding and conversion team.”

The FSU conversion included more than 100 tons of steel renewal and the cumulative addition of over 1,500 metres of cryogenic pipes. 25 designers were deployed and the project team consisted of 10 managers overseeing a workforce of some 250 personnel each day.

The FSU is designed to offload LNG to the regasification plant at rates of up to 350 cubic metres per hour during peak demand. The flow rate can be adjusted to as little as 150 cubic metres per hour during non-peak periods.

Synergy’s newbuilding department is headed by naval architect Subodh Borse, a specialist in LNG newbuilds and retrofits. He said: “Our experienced newbuilding and conversion team is renowned for providing expedited, one-stop, cost effective solutions to clients in the LNG supply chain.

“We were very happy with the design which includes the addition of four feed pumps in each of the cargo tanks which allows them to hold Boil-off Gas (BOG) for longer durations. The addition of Emergency Release Couplings and Quick Release Hooks ensures vessels depart the terminal quickly. We increased the tank pressure up to 0.7 bars and the design allows the FSU to simultaneously feed LNG to the regasification plant while also offloading offload LNG to another smaller vessel.

“This was a complex undertaking and one that Synergy has proven we are fully equipped to successfully manage.”

Alvin Gan, Sembcorp Marine Head of Repairs & Upgrades, commented: “Sembcorp Marine is pleased to partner Synergy Group on this milestone FSU conversion project. As the leading LNG ship repair and upgrades solutions provider in the world, we take pride in executing FSU and FSRU conversions on time, safely and meeting our customers’ engineering and quality expectations. We thank Synergy for putting their trust in our expertise and track record.”

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